SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – Mandatory evacuations make South Lake Tahoe look like a ghost town just days from the long Labor Day weekend that normally lures tourists.
But as people piled into their cars, animals also hit the road. The flames scared wildlife and forced animals out of their homes. A CBS13 photographer spotted a bear in the Christmas Valley area running from the flames that were pushed down to the valley floor.
Local wildlife rescue groups have had their hands full moving all their animals away from the path of the flame. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care says it was ready. Within just the last six months, the group used grant money to buy an animal trailer and anxious boxes just in case they needed to evacuate.
“We can not believe what our eyes show us. That the devastation and the speed with which the fire is coming through, and the fact that these animals are running for their lives, ”said Greg Erfani, LTWC board member.
Erfani says that in a precautionary process, they evacuated the facility prior to the evacuation order, which caused a massive traffic jam on Highway 50.
“We were like everyone else when we started watching these fires get closer and closer, there was this panic, you know what to do with all these animals,” Erfani told CBS13. “It was difficult because they are wild animals, and our goal is to keep these animals wild. They do not like human interaction. ”
The center was basically able to share all the animals together into smaller sister organizations like Gold Country Wildlife Rescue and the California Raptor Center. Their many ambassadorial animals like the pork Porky are now all safe with their handlers.
“They are all in good hands and they are protected and now our staff and our volunteers can take care of their own homes that are in danger. So animals came first for us, ”said Erfani.
Many want to help, but the staff and animals have been forced out of their facilities. They cannot actually take physical things or food, but they need financial support. You can donate at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care website.
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